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'Cops were disrespectful'

Marlene not informed of Christmas 'treat' in her constituency

By Anna Ramdass anna.ramdass@trinidadexpress.com

Deputy Commissioner of Police Mervyn Richardson was disrespectful for not informing Port of Spain South MP Marlene McDonald of the police Christmas treat for her constituents, said McDonald.

Speaking to the Express yesterday, McDonald said that in 2013 she would like to see crime dealt with in a more holistic manner and the police "should do more policing work as opposed to following the dictates of politicians".

She noted that last weekend Richardson and police officers went into Sea Lots and distributed hampers to people in the area without having the courtesy to inform her.

"This is a new trend I see taking place. I have no problem with the police, they are there to protect and serve...but the police getting into political matters is a great concern to me," she said.

McDonald said she visits the people of Sea Lots often and will be there again tomorrow.

She further noted that Government members have been going into Laventille without having the respect to inform the MPs for the areas.

McDonald said the police must do their duty to protect and serve and not engage in politics.

"I don't know when there has been a change, I saw Mr Richardson smiling and what not (on television). Where is the respect shown to the MP? We are elected to represent the people.

"We hope all these things will be addressed, it is not everyone in this country can be bought and sold, there are still intelligent people in this country," she added.

McDonald said the police going into an MP's constituency to distribute hampers and have a social interaction with the people is setting a dangerous precedent as this will confuse people as to what are the roles of the MP and the police.

She said a line must be drawn.

McDonald said when she served as the minister of Community Development, former prime minister Patrick Manning made it clear to all his ministers that whenever there is a function in any constituency that the representative must be invited.

"I opened over 20 community centres...not one on the other side can tell me that I went into their constituency and did not inform them," she said.

Contacted yesterday, Richardson told the Express there was no politics involved in the Sea Lots visit, and interacting with the people was a crime-fighting initiative.

"The police role is one to deal with the crime situation...the person to inform her in my honest belief should be the Minister," said Richardson.

"My role is to go into the community, not to inform people that I will be going into the community," he added.

Richardson stressed there was no politics involved in the Sea Lots visit.

"We are going in there to change lives and influence people to turn from their ways, we also have the hard methods by plucking out people who are hell bent on causing stress in the community.

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